HÀ NỘI — President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has told Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders that vaccine access is crucial to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was speaking at a virtual informal meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders which was held on Friday to discuss the COVID-19 health and economic crisis and response.
Addressing the event, President Phúc said as a place with many global leading vaccine manufacturing and supplying centres, APEC needed to enhance cooperation in this field, noting that economic recovery potential chiefly depended on timely and equal access to qualified sources of vaccines and vaccination with reasonable prices.
Making use of new technology and speeding up digital transformation are important foundations to sustainable development, he said.
With the motto of no one left behind, President Phúc made three proposals for APEC cooperation.
First, he called for quickly implementing cooperation programmes to help vulnerable groups overcome the crisis, improve the resilience and adaptability of businesses, particularly small- and medium-sized firms, provide skill training for workers, and narrow the digital gap between urban and rural areas.
He also urged speeding up regional cooperation in technology transfer, improving vaccine research and production capacity and studying the possibility of a temporary agreement within APEC on the abolition of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.
Finally, he called for developing APEC guidelines on maintaining the supply chain in emergency situations to ensure the lifeblood of the economy.
The President shared Việt Nam's efforts in implementing the dual goals of disease prevention and control with maintaining economic development and said the country appreciated the international community's support for these efforts.
He said Việt Nam continues to work closely with other member economies to promote cooperation in the spirit of "Coordinating Together, Acting Together, Growing Together" for a better future for all.
Themed "Confronted by COVID-19, what are the opportunities for the Asia-Pacific region to collaborate to move through the health crisis, and to accelerate economic recovery in a manner that lays the foundations for a better future?", the meeting focused on solutions to overcome the health crisis and speeding up economic recovery in Asia-Pacific.
Participants stressed the important role of cooperation and multinational solutions in overcoming the health crisis and accelerating a creative, sustainable, inclusive and safe economy.
Leaders agreed on four action orientations of APEC in the future, including support for global vaccine sharing efforts and encouraging the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technologies on mutually agreed terms to enhance health systems to have the resilience to cope with current and future shocks.
They also called for more macroeconomic policies and policies supporting women and small businesses to facilitate job creation and inclusive economic recovery.
They said the digital transformation process should be accelerated and the digital gap narrowed, with solutions to enhance digital skills for workers to take part in new markets.
Finally, they called for facilitating the flow of goods and services, ensuring operation of the supply chains and supporting the safe and efficient distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and related goods, and paving the way for the safe resumption of cross-border travel, without undermining efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The leaders issued a joint statement “Overcoming COVID-19 and Accelerating Economic Recovery”. — VNS
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